The 90’s really had a big impact on our hobby and my wallet as we saw the plastic figure companies take off with the Napoleonic Wars sets. Although we lost the Italian company ESCI in the late 80’s, Revell and later on Italeri started to bring out news sets for the hobby.
Revell produced the French Grenadiers of the guard in greatcoats Set 02570 in 1992, the first plastic set of figures in greatcoats and the British Infantry Set 02571.
In the following year in 1993, they brought out another two new sets. The French Mounted Guard Chasseurs cavalry, Set 02576 which had 17 mounted figures including an Officer and Bugler with horses and one standing figure in dark grey plastic. The other set was the British Foot artillery Set 02577. This set had three cannons with crew plus one limber. There was also included a small section of accessories. The one I liked most in this set was the stack of muskets. All of the set was made in a light grey plastic.
In 1994, Revell gave us another new set, which was the British Life Guards Set 02578. This set had 17 mounted figures which included an Officer and Bugler again made in a light grey plastic. Then in 1995 Italeri produced the Scots Greys Set 6001. This was a new set which again included an Officer and bugler but had a total of 18 mounted figures, much better than the now old ESCI Set 217. They also gave us French Line Infantry. Although most of the poses were from the ESCI Infantry set, there were some new ones poses in the mix.
In 1996 both companies brought out some more new regiments. Revell gave us the Prussian Infantry Set 02580. This was the first time that we have seen Prussian line infantry and the British Rifles Set 02581 which gave us the 95th rifles. Both sets in light grey plastic. The British Rifles was the last ever set from Revell although they re-issued some Italeri sets, French Hussars, French Dragoons and the French Horse Guard Artillery. Italeri made the French Carabiniers heavy cavalry Set 6003. These were made in cream plastic and with 17 mounted figures it again had an Officer and Bugler. They also brought out some Highlander Infantry Set 6004. This was the second complete Highlander set since Airfix back in 1996. Then we had a set of Austrian Grenadiers and line Infantry, Russian Grenadiers, Prussian Cuirassiers and French Hussars Set 6008. These were made in a light blue plastic again with an Officer and Bugler.
We then had to wait till 1998 before was saw any new sets of figures from Italeri who were by now the only company still making Napoleonic figures. Set 6015 gave us the French Dragoons. Made in cream plastic we not only had the Officer and Bugler but now a standard bearer. 17 mounted with horses but slightly bigger is size, but once painted up they look just as good as the past sets. In 1999 another first for the plastic company was a French Staff Set 6016. Our armies did by then need commanders other than NOC’s so this set was a welcome back then. A nice model of Napoleon on horseback with some mounted and on foot Marshals to accompany him on the battle field. By the end of the 90’s there were few more plastic figure companies that had stated to produce sets but one of them was an American company called HaT Industries. They were to make a big impact on the war game hobby world.